The purpose of this paper is to propose a program that moves beyond the traditional values clarification
approach used in some recreational therapy leisure education programs to a cognitive-developmental approach to challenging participants free-time choices.
distinguishes moral instruction, which is the responsibility of so-called private institutions such as families and churches, from public moral discourse, which is guided by public institutions such as schools.
exercises may consist of a list of statements that make an evaluative judgment.
Instead, the values clarification
technique has students "discover" their own values by "exploring their likes and dislikes, preferences and feelings"--as if likes and dislikes have anything to do with morality.
A second and equally important task is values clarification
. Values and norms must be clearly stated, a priori, using a defined process that facilitates consensus among all investors in the integration strategy on the content of the values statement.
Schools replaced moral education with "values clarification
," standards were abandoned, and homework was forgotten.
The values clarification
experience brought some distinct accomplishments.
Louis Raths, Merrill Harmin, and Sidney Simon coauthored Values and Teaching, the highly influential first statement of the theory and technique of values clarification
Not only must schools teach self-discipline, but also incorporate exercises concerning morality and values clarification
into the existing curriculum.
Among the variety of methods available for self-assessment are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Human Synergistic Level 1: Life Styles Inventory, and many of the personal values inventories found in Values Clarification
: A Handbook of Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students.
One immediate consequence was the rise of a new theory of moral development, called "values clarification
": It's wrong for teachers to endorse any values; all they can do is help students discover their own.
Hiding behind such weak arguments, we have indoctrinated our small children with all manner of relativistic nonsense and forced upon them such hazards as "values clarification
," religious neutrality, textbook revisionism, concern for the self above all else, and the rule of the majority rather than the higher law, even when that majority is wrong.